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Fansidar (Pyrimethamine, Sulfadoxine)

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is found in every cell of the human body. It contains the chemical instructions for all of life’s processes. Each of us has DNA formations that are different from anyone else’s. Scientists can pin down the distinctions in each DNA sample. And, finally, they can discern the parentage of a child of contested origin. The odds in favor of being right in such cases are said to be excellent-at least 100,000 to one. The process can take several days.
Says Dr. Richard Roberts, a scientist who discovered some of the chemical tools used in the process: “This is truly exciting. It carries us a quantum leap forward in criminal identification. There is a degree of precision not possible before.” Dr. Roberts is assistant director of research at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, New York.
Dr. Jeffreys developed the technique and coined its name. His wife, Sue, is accorded accolades for suggesting it could be used to establish true parentage.
It was first used for this purpose in 1985, shortly after Dr. Jeffreys’s new invention had been written up in a professional journal. The case involved a family from Ghana with British citizenship. One son went back to Ghana for a visit. On his return to England, authorities found fault with his passport and held him in custody. His lawyer, having read about Dr. Jeffreys’s work, asked to have mother and son tested. When DNA fingerprinting proved their relationship beyond doubt, the boy was released.
“It has astonished me how rapidly the scientific community has used the technology, how rapidly it has been viewed positively by many young lawyers,” Dr. Jeffreys says. “I thought the practical uses were years in the future.” .
Raoul Felder, a leading matrimonial attorney in New York City, says, “We still will have paternity suits, because some people will insist on going to trial- even if I have genetic evidence that is 99.99 percent certain.”
We inherit our DNA from our parents-half from our fathers, half from our mothers. In the British immigration case, Dr. Jeffreys placed the bar charts of mother and son parallel to one another. This showed that the two shared DNA fragments. The other bars on the boy’s chart represented his father’s DNA.
Since then, DNA tests have vastly reduced paternity suits. Confronted with the DNA bar charts, either the biological father yields, or, if the charts show him not to be the father, the mother yields. In such a case in 1989, Coleman Young, the mayor of Detroit, conceded that he was the father of a child after he saw the genetic evidence.
In 1988, DNA testing uncovered a baby switch. Records show that Arlena Twigg was born in 1978 to Ernest and Regina Twigg at Hardee Memorial Hospital in Wauchula, Florida, and died of a heart defect 10 years later. But genetic tests taken before her death proved that the Twiggs were not the child’s biological parents.
Records also show that Kimberly Michelle Mays was born to Robert and Barbara Mays in the same hospital at about the same time as Arlena. The Twiggs tracked down Robert Mays. He agreed to take the DNA parentage tests only if, whatever the results, the Twiggs promised they would not seek custody of Kimberly, barring unusual circumstances (such as proven abuse or neglect of the youngster). The DNA tests revealed that the Twiggs actually were Kimberly Mays’s biological parents.

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